Canada-Chile environmental commission: 2012 meeting outcomes

Twelfth Council Session

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Gatineau, Canada, May 9, 2012 - The Council of the Canada-Chile Commission for Environmental Cooperation met for its Twelfth Regular Session on May 9, 2012 in Gatineau, Quebec. 

This year Canada and Chile are celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Canada-Chile Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (CCAEC), signed in 1997 in parallel to the bilateral Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Sebastian Piñera, witnessed the signing of a more modern Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement on April 16, 2012 in Santiago, Chile, expanding the financial services chapter under the Agreement. The Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement has already greatly benefited both countries with two-way merchandise trade more than tripling since the agreement came into force in 1997. To support this increased integration, the CCAEC is based on the principle that trade should not occur at the expense of environmental protection and seeks to increase cooperation between Canada and Chile to better conserve, protect and enhance the environment.

The National Secretariats continue to advance cooperative activities in line with the principles of the Agreement. Implementation of projects over the last year resulted in:  

  • Conservation activities to protect the Pink-footed Shearwater.
  • Surveys of the Red Knot population, the results of which are being used internationally.
  • Multi-sector (government, industry, civil society) engagement in the development of a plan to monitor the environmental impacts of the pulp and paper sector on the Bío Bío watershed.
  • Participation by 200 representatives from across government, the private sector and civil society at a two-day seminar ‘Private Protected Areas: the Chilean and Canadian Experience’, to discuss Private Sector engagement in Protected Areas Management and Biodiversity Conservation.

In addition to our regular Work Program, Canada and Chile will be working together in the upcoming year on climate change projects to conserve and build resilience in protected areas as well as to develop a Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) for the waste management and landfill gas sector. A portion of the funds for protected areas will be dedicated to restoring the Torres del Paine National Park, which was ravaged by wildfires earlier this year. 

The Commission has also worked with the Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) to improve public engagement under the Agreement. During the Twelfth Council Session, JPAC hosted a public session on Economic Instruments for Ecosystem Services in Canada with guest speaker, Dr. Brandon Schaufele from the Sustainable Prosperity Initiative at the University of Ottawa.   

Canada and Chile remain committed to the Agreement, look forward to its continued success in the future and will meet again under the auspices of the Thirteenth Regular Session of the Canada-Chile Commission for Environmental Cooperation in Santiago in 2013.

The 2011 Annual Report will highlight past and planned cooperation and will be available on the Canadian and Chilean National Secretariat websites.

The Canada-Chile Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (CCAEC) entered into force in July 1997 following the signing of the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement. It is designed to promote environmental cooperation and enforcement of environmental laws in both Canada and Chile. It commits the Parties to high environmental standards; effective enforcement of environmental laws; open, transparent, equitable and accountable processes for developing environmental laws and policies; and environmental cooperation activities to help ensure these commitments can be kept. In addition to the Council, the Canada-Chile Commission for Environmental Cooperation includes a Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) (three citizens from each country) and a Joint Submission Committee (JSC) (one citizen from each country). The Commission is assisted by two National Secretariats, housed in the environment ministries of each Party.

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